I’m cranky these days. Must be the steroids that I am taking that are not doing diddly squat for this back pain. But people, some people, lately are really ticking me off.
I am always trying to figure out the best way to introduce myself, especially in an environment where being a mom is respected and applauded. Most people don’t really want to hear more than a short sound bite, so I generally say – I am a mom, my husband and I have seven kids. (It’s true. I have 4, he has 3, together that is seven). When asked the age range, I give it – 8-15. Yes, sometimes people look at me and wonder, but 9 times out of ten, they just wish me luck and we move on.
I am not interested in telling everyone my life story. That’s why I have a blog! But recently I was talking with a new acquaintance and she asked me if there were any multiples amongst this gigantic group of children that we have. I said no, in fact we are a blended family. There was a distinct change in attitude from the person I was conversing with. Oh well, it isn’t so amazing then that you have seven kids. Three of them aren’t even yours.
Them’s fighting words!! Life would probably be much easier if they were all “mine”. The blended family dynamic, especially when there are other parents involved and other homes where children live some of the time, is much much harder than the biological family dynamic. Just because they are not “mine” biologically doesn’t mean they are not “mine” emotionally. I love the KoD’s kids so very much – they are a part of him, how could I not? They are part of our family, just like mine are. I have a place in my heart for each and every one of our children. Whether they were born of my womb or not, they are OUR children…
Look, I don’t need kudos or awards or anything like that, I love being a mom and a step-mom and that’s reward enough for me. But don’t dismiss my mothering as “less than” because I only birthed four of the seven of our offspring. I am sure this person would not have dreamed of saying something similar to an adoptive parent – that would just be wrong, correct?
I dunno, it just sticks in my craw. Pass the grumpitol….
This is a question that was emailed to me to pose on my blog. It has been edited to adjust flow.
“I am a newly remarried mother of an 8 year daughter. Her bio-dad has had nothing to do with her since we divorced 6 years ago. Her step dad has been in her life for two years and they have a lot of fun together. All three of us get along most of the time. However, my daughter will go crazy whenever my husband touches me in an affectionate manner, kiss on the cheek, arm around the shoulder etc. She hits him, kicks him in the leg and tells him to “get off my mommy!!” He has only ever been sweet and kind to both of us. What can I do? Why is she like this? She sits on his lap, she hugs him at bedtime. Why can he not touch me? If I am the one to initiate contact with him she says nothing and does nothing until he responds in kind. But you can see in her eyes that she is watching and waiting. I want us to be a normal family, but we are afraid to show affection in front of her.”
So, dear readers, you generally have wonderful insight and ideas – what do you make of this situation? What would you advise?
Two people get married. One brings biological children into the family home full time. The other parent’s children visit occasionally, let’s say every second weekend. How does one prevent the non custodial children from being jealous and envious that the other kids get to live with their biological parent full time?
What does one do when one’s young step-children, who do not live in the newly established marital home, refuse to come see their biological parent because they “hate” the new step-parent(for no reason other than the fact that this person married their biological parent)? Bonding time is so necessary, and the more time they spend in the new environment with the new step-parent, the more they can see that s/he might actually be a decent person.
When visitation is granted by the courts – how far does one go to enforce it if the child really doesn’t want to come? If they are small enough does one just pick them up physically and carry them to the car kicking and screaming? At what point does the child get his/her own way?
How does one answer “I won’t come because I hate your spouse”? How does one stop this from causing pain, even though you know it isn’t personal?